India Unveils World's First 100% Solar-Powered Airport

Michaela Whitton
August 21, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom — Cochin, a city in the southern Indian state of Kerala, has announced that its international airport has become the world’s first solar-powered airport.

According to a press release, Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL/COK) will use power from 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres of land in a project that expects to see savings of 300,000 tons worth of carbon emissions over the next 25 years.

Cochin officials claim to have always been committed to sustainable development. The airport first ventured into the sector in March 2013, when it installed a 100 kWp solar PVP plant for converting light to electricity on the roof of the arrivals block in the terminal.

After the success of this endeavor, they went on to develop a 1MW solar power plant that could produce 40,000 units of electricity.

After finding the 1MW project to be financially viable, CIAL awarded the contract for its latest and grander scale project to engineering company Bosch Ltd. in Bangalore. Work was completed in six months.

The latest upgrade was inaugurated by the Hon. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on August 18th, meaning the airport is now the proud producers of 50,000 – 60,000 units of solar-powered electricity — more than enough to meet the daily power requirements.

The plant will produce 18 million units of power from the sun, the equivalent of the amount needed to power 10,000 homes for a year. On top of this, CIAL boasts the project will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 3 lakh metric tonnes, which officials claim is equivalent to planting 3 million trees or not driving 750 miles.

Since the airport expects to produce more energy than it requires, CIAL plans to feed some of the energy into the state grid. According to the airport’s Facebook page, they are also looking to generate power through dam-based solar panels and low-head hydro projects using Kerala’s natural resources.

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Michaela Whitton joined Anti-Media as its first journalist abroad in May of 2015. Her topics of interest include human rights, conflict, the Middle East, Palestine, and Israel. Born and residing in the United Kingdom, she is also a photographer. Learn more about Whitton here!